Naxos to Paros 2021

Early morning in the already quiet Naxos, we crossed the street to the old town again before the stores were even open. It looked a little bit different without souvenirs and products hanging out on the street; it looked empty and peaceful.

We enjoyed our time photographing the empty maze-like roads.

Within the narrow roads is this garden restaurant.

Like I said before Naxos’ old town is very small so we were done and walked to the Temple of Apollo. There, it offered great views of the island’s main whitewashed town.

The remains of the temple like a window to look out to the sea and the town.

We went back to our hotel room to wait for our check out at 11. The host arrived and she gave us the receipt of our stay. We asked where we can store our luggage so we can have lunch first before our ferry to Paros. She said we can just leave them in the room until our departure time, I guess no guest checking in or arriving later in the day. She also said we can put the keys inside the room when we leave.

For lunch, we went to Meze Meze and they opened earlier than the other restaurants for lunch. Of course, we were the first customers and the owner came to take our order. We ordered the steamed mussels and he said those are very fresh! He was absolutely correct, fresh and large portion; it was a full pot for only €11!!!

I ordered seafood with local pasta that looked like the shape of rice whereas Jason ordered the shrimp with rice. The owner said both are the same broth and then he said he can have the cook make them in different broths so we can try and share. Great, thank you!

When we saw the waiter brought out our plates, actually in pots, we were shocked at the huge portion! Even two of us can’t even finish one pot!!! We tried our best to eat as much as we could. The seafood in local pasta tasted more creamy but not too heavy. They put a lot of seafood in there, the amount of mussels can be its own appetizer portion!

The shrimp rice has a spicy flavor to it which I like so we decided to switch. Both were good! Jason did a better job on eating probably 3/4 of the pasta which has more seafood. I couldn’t even finish half of the shrimp rice. We were so full!!!

Not done yet, we got free dessert on the house – greek yogurt with some sort of fruit jam? We couldn’t figure out what it is but pretty good as it wasn’t too sweet. All those food for only €44.80 and we tipped €4. We really enjoyed our meal in Naxos out of the islands we visited in this trip, good, big portion, and cheap!

After lunch, we walked back to our room to get our luggage and headed over to the ferry port to wait for our ferry. The ferry port has a big covered area with three lines of seating spaces for passengers to wait for their ferry. Each lane is clearly marked for which boat so was less chaotic than the port at Santorini. Our ferry (Artemis Blue Star Ferries) was supposed to be at 1:20 PM but it was more than an hour late!!!! Jason said if he knew it’ll be late, he’ll rather spend more money on the more expensive and faster ferry (€5.50 compared to €25 per person).

The ferry finally arrived and it was not as luxurious as the one we took from Santorini to Naxos. It was fine since it was only a short ride around 1 hour and 10 minutes. The deck was semi-open-air and the seats were the hard ones. As you can see, half of the passengers didn’t even have their masks on and the crew didn’t enforce much.

Goodbye Naxos, it was a short and sweet stay!

The sea was calm once again, thank goodness so I didn’t have to take the motion sickness pill. We arrived around 3:30 PM and our driver was there waiting for us and we had 6 people heading to the same hotel – Kanale’s Rooms and Suites. The van was so hot, the AC wasn’t working yikes! We arranged the transfer with the hotel – it cost €25 for both of us. We were dropped off right in front of the hotel entrance. We were quick enough to the first ones arrived at the reception desk and they only have one staff for the check in.

The lady showed us around the hotel, the pool located on the 2/3 floor, the 2nd lobby area and the restaurant where we’ll be having breakfast at the roof level. She asked if I am pregnant, I said yes, and she asked if I would like extra pillows. I said sure and thank you for her kindness. Our room was located on the ground floor – convenient so we don’t need to carry our luggage down those stairs when checkout.

Our room looked and felt much cleaner and comfortable than our room in Naxos. We got a free bottle of local wine and a fruit plate since we booked via and a silver member.

The bed size was smaller, I guess equivalent to a full size, definitely not a queen-size bed. Look, housekeeping delivered a maternity pillow! This was the first time I have seen a hotel offer that!

The bathroom has plenty of shelf spaces.

One thing I didn’t like was how small the standup shower was, can barely make a turn.

A small closet with plenty of hangers and an electronic safe.

We had a little patio in front of our room entrance but no view so we didn’t hang out there.

After we settled down, we walked to Naousa’s old town which was a 10 minutes walk but under the hot sun with no shade! On our way, we passed Piperi Beach near our hotel.

I picked Naousa instead of the capital, Parikia, from the photos I saw of its picturesque harbor.

The road wrapped around the harbor is filled with restaurants and tables.

Then, we ventured into the old town which is much bigger than Naxos. Google Maps is not detailed enough inside the old town to guide you but no worries, continue walking and soon you’ll be out of the maze back to the main streets.

The backside of the harbor is filled with restaurants as well and the background is the residential area. Restaurants on this side of the waterfront have better ratings and I guess not as tourist traps.

We tried to walk and explore every little street inside this cute old town. We found most shops are either restaurants or selling clothes, not interesting souvenir shops 🙁

We tried to find the souvenir shop that often shows up on Instagram (picture below) but found out that the shop is closed and has changed to another clothing store.

Then, we tried to find the place where the picture below was taken but no luck:

We concluded that those pictures were taken a long time ago, those places are now closed or turn into something else. I was a bit disappointed but we continued to explore every single little road and discover new photo spots.

We found this row of bougainvillea covered the street, it was so beautiful and yet no tourists there beside us 😀

Another bougainvillea next to a locked door around the corner right outside the old town.

Nice blue and white cushions and restaurant signs.

For dinner, we went to Mitsi Seafood Restaurant without a reservation and got a table since we were there when they just opened for dinner. Many tables have been reserved; I didn’t realize Paros would be this busy during the pandemic.

We ordered the fish soup to give it another try and it was the same type of fish soup that we had in Naxos – pumpkin broth with lots of black pepper.

Compared to the pot of mussels we had at lunch in Naxos, this plate looked so small for a similar price. Paros is generally more expensive than Naxos but still less than Santorini.

Jason ordered the shrimp spaghetti and he said it was the nicest looking spaghetti he ever had, wrapped nicely LOL. Taste-wise it was good, comparable to the ones we had in Italy.

I ordered the seafood pasta and the sauce, at last, tasted like seafood. In my opinion, it was the best-tasting seafood spaghetti I had on this trip!

Again, free dessert on the house but this was weird……it tasted and looked like frozen bread with cocoa powder. I wish they give us Greek yogurt instead. We took a bite and gave up. The bill was €56.2 and we tipped €3.80 to round up to €60.

After dinner, we made a stop at the grocery store, there is only one we saw on the road from the hotel to the old town. We got plastic cups, peach juice (they don’t have mango juice), and coconut water to bring back to the hotel. After spending a few hours in Paros, my impression of it was not as picturesque as I thought or saw from photos but nicer than Naxos’ old town. The tourists we saw were mostly younger Greeks like high school or college age, traveling together during summer vacation. We didn’t see many families either. We stayed 3 nights in Paros to explore different villages so stay tuned!

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